Today our team had the privilege of being with some of the poorest people in
Addis Ababa. Mother Teresa used to say that by serving the poor she could be with Jesus all the time. That's what today felt like.
The first orphan care point was called "Gospel for all Nations." 42 children are helped by this ministry, but the help is extremely scarce. They don't have any sponsorship or funding coming in. The little they do have is money the pastor takes from his own pocket. Just like Walter in Swaziland...
The children are orphans--sons and daughters of prostitutes.
We went to their homes. We touched their faces. We hugged them as if they were our own.
The place was filthy and filled with stench but we knew God had us there for a reason, to see what Jesus looks like is the worst of circumstances.
I met an 18 year old sex worker with a baby. She was really a beautiful girl and one of our team members asked why she sold her body.
"So I can have food to eat," she replied.
Nobody should be forced to sell themselves so they don't starve.
The second home we visited is called Shalom, it is a place for street kids. These kids have been abused in the most horrible ways. The boys and girls have been raped and most of them have HIV/AIDS. One boy had TB so bad he coughed the entire afternoon.
They slept on the hard wood floor of this run down building trying to stay safe from the evil that waited for them outside the door.
One saint of a lady named Telagne has given her life to serve these kids. They have absolutely no support. I asked her where they got money for the little food they had. She said, "from my wages." I was awed by her sacrifice.
We canceled the rest of our plans for the evening and decided to have a HUGE pizza party complete with Coke, Fanta, and bananas!
The kids said to us, "we've never had a Coke before."
Tomorrow we're buying them mattresses, blankets, shoes, and food. Oh, my heart is broken for these kids. They are just children, 7, 9, 12 years being the oldest.
At the end they asked if they could pray for us. Are you kidding?
We stood in a circle and they stretched out their hands toward us, blessed us, and prayed for us.
I've never been so humbled.
I saw the Kingdom of God in a new light today. I long for Christ to come back not so I can have a mansion in the sky or to get my eternal reward, instead I want him to come back so these children don't have to suffer anymore. No more pain, no evil perpetrated on them day and night, no tears, ever again.
If you want to help with the expenses for the shoes, food, blankets, and mattresses (we're buying these things out of pocket right now in Ethiopia), just give online at put "Shalom Ethiopia" in your note.